Minor League Musings: Thayer Called Up, Pena to DL

The Thin Man is on the Mend


-Jake McGee has been promoted to Durham. According to watchingdurhambullsbaseball.com McGee will be working out of the pen for the Bulls. Adam Sobsey speculates that we may see him piggy-backing short outings from Jeremy Hellickson as a measure of innings-control for both of them. The power lefty handled himself quite well in Class AA compiling a K/9 of 9.96 with a BB/9 of 3.29 as he continues his return from Tommy John Surgery. . He struck out lefties at a 12.49/9 clip while inducing 54.7% ground balls from them. Stacy Long profiled McGee this week with the following report on the development of his secondary offerings:

"I've been getting a good feel for everything and the last thing to come (after Tommy John) is a consistent feel for your pitches," McGee said.

McGee still has a major league-quality fastball that crosses 95 mph, but his off-speed pitches still are unpolished. Gardner said he's impressed with how McGee has commanded his fastball, but "obviously, his slider is not where it needs to be."

"He has shown flashes of being able to throw it for strikes and using it as a takeout pitch," Gardner said. "If you look at the whole body of work, he's had several good starts for us.

"There is progress there."

-The other big promotion to AAA was Cuban signing Leslie Anderson. Anderson joined Class A+ Charlotte in May where he began the process of assimilation in to American baseball and culture. He spent his time wih the Crabs plit between first-base and left-field while putting up a modest slash line of .262/.303/.405 in 84 plate appearances. The organization shuffled Anderson along to Class AA Montgomery were he produced much greater results with a line of .306/.384/.478. He profiles with decent plate discipline compiling 18 walks to 27 strikeouts in 207 PA. Anderson,a  right-handed hitter has OPSed .983 versus same-handed pitchers while struggling against southpaws in a small sample of 65 at-bats.

-Montgomery infielder Shawn O-Malley had X-Rays and an MRI on the same shoulder that landed him on the DL earlier this year. Matt Sweeney, who has been on the sidelines with an elbow injury, left Montgomery for the rehab facility in Port Charlotte. It's been a disappointing first season in the organization for the power-hitting chip acquired in the Scott Kazmir trade. Matt Gorgen has been on the sideline with discomfort, but he has been playing catch according to Long. Gorgen has posted a 3.54 FIP as the closer for the Biscuits. Finally Cody Cipriano has been dealing with a slight labrum tear that has kept him out of action.

-Andy Sonnanstine pitched 1.1 innings in a rehab stint for Charlotte striking out all four outs.

-With Carlos Pena going on the DL, Dale Thayer has been recalled by the Rays. The right-handed reliever, best known for his moustache last season, has posted a FIP of 3.18 this season, his third with Durham. Thayer was initially acquired for Russell Branyan. He profiles a bit ROOGYish with 54.5% groundballs vs RHB with a K/9 north of 9 for the Bulls this year. Thayer works primarily off a fastball and slider. I'd prefer some Winnie Abreu but Thayer already is on the 40-man.

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